For the last year, I have been looking forward to August 26, 2020, and the centennial commemoration of the 19th Amendment. I imagined parades of women dressed as suffragists marching with banners celebrating the suffrage heroines of the past we all know as well as the African American and Latina voting rights activists we are finally learning more about. Instead, I look on with respect at the new civil rights heroes and heroines of today who are leading the peaceful protests for basic human and civil rights, in Texas and across the country.
The League knows the fight for civil rights and voting rights is not over. We will continue to fight into our next 100 years for laws and policies which allow equal and fair access to the voting booth.
The #2020 General Election is historic in many ways. We must work together to help Texas voters overcome the unique barriers to voting created by the COVID 19 pandemic.
No one should have to choose between exercising their constitutional right to vote and their personal health and safety. In Texas, we face a unique constellation of challenges:
- All voters are not allowed to vote safely and securely by mail at home.
- COVID-19 makes in-person voter registration dangerous, yet Texas citizens are still not allowed to register to vote online - like in almost every other state in the U.S.
- While our election officials struggle to find poll workers, Governor Abbott exempted voters, poll workers, and poll watchers from wearing a mask increasing the level of risk for in-person voting.
Our current League heroines find the energy to support our mission of empowering voters and defending democracy in spite of COVID 19. Today League members are implementing innovative ideas to Make Democracy Work® in Texas. We have moved our fight for democracy online!
- We are promoting new voter registration tools, such as register2vote.org. No printer or stamps required!
- Leagues are hosting candidate forums on Zoom!
- Voters may sign up for nonpartisan voting reminders sent by text.
- Our renowned and highly respected nonpartisan Voters Guide is available online in Spanish and English at VOTE411.org.
I am inspired and grateful for these final words from civil rights leader John Lewis. “The vote is the most powerful nonviolent change agent you have in a democratic society. You must use it because it is not guaranteed. You can lose it.” This is indeed our mission marching forward for the next 100 years of empowering voters and defending democracy.
Thank you for walking with me on this path! I am honored to be marching forward with you!
Grace Chimene president, League of Women Voters of Texas
League to which this content belongs:Texas